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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007, 15:25 GMT
Wigan 0-2 Everton
By Mandeep Sanghera

Mikel Arteta scored the winner for Everton against Wigan with a penalty
Arteta strokes home a penalty to give Everton the lead at Wigan
Wigan suffered a seventh successive league defeat as they lost to Everton to increase their relegation concerns.

Everton brought a poor game to life after 65 minutes when a Mikel Arteta penalty gave them the lead after David Unsworth hauled down Victor Anichebe.

The goal came only minutes after the visitors' striker Andrew Johnson was carried off with an ankle injury.

Josip Skoko's shot struck the bar for Wigan but Arteta slid in to tap home a late cross and secure Everton's win.

It was clear from the early stages of the game that it was going to be a match more about grit rather than guile, with goalmouth incidents at a premium.

A Wigan side desperate for points to rise away from the relegation dogfight were relying on determination and the direct tactic of launching the ball long to Emile Heskey up front.

Everton used a long-ball game to utilise the pace of Johnson but had little success as both teams cancelled each other out.

Andy Johnson
Johnson is in agony as he is carried off at the JJB Stadium

The swirling wind, frequent driving rain and the poor pitch contributed to a disappointing game, while the players lacked the quality to engineer a breakthrough.

Everton keeper Tim Howard palmed an angled Antonio Valencia shot into the side-netting before seeing Kevin Kilbane shoot just wide in rare attacks.

That was as exciting as it got until the 55th minute when Joseph Yobo headed wide for Everton from eight yards.

Almost immediately, Simon Davies had a shot tipped over by Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland but it was the injury suffered to Johnson in the build-up to the chance that led to concerned Everton faces.

Johnson was sandwiched in between Kirkland and defender Unsworth and was caught by the Wigan keeper, who came sliding in to try to clear any danger.

The Everton striker was carried off before the visitors upped the pace and won a penalty.

Arteta made no mistake from the spot and his goal prompted Wigan to mount some late pressure for an equaliser.

Skoko rattled the woodwork after 83 minutes but they failed to make the most of their possession.

Arteta converted Phil Neville's low cross in injury-time to help lift Everton to seventh place, while Wigan are two points off the Premiership drop zone after taking only five points from the last 36.


  • Wigan boss Paul Jewell:
    "This is a test of character for us all.

    "I thought the game had 0-0 written all over it until we made a bad decision and gave away a needless penalty.

    "It's not going for us at the moment. You have to be tough and for the next 15 games we have to be men. We have to try to get five or six wins."

  • Everton boss David Moyes:
    "We think we can catch the teams above us and, if we can regain our confidence and the way we can play, we can start picking up results.

    "Victor Anichebe made a big difference for us.

    "He helped us hold up the ball and it gave us something to build off."


    Wigan: Kirkland, Boyce, Hall (Taylor 65), Unsworth, Baines, Valencia (Cotterill 78), Landzaat, Skoko, Kilbane, Heskey, McCulloch.
    Subs Not Used: Filan, Granqvist, Johansson.

    Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo, Stubbs, Lescott, Arteta, Osman, Carsley, Cahill (Beattie 88), Davies, Johnson (Anichebe 60).
    Subs Not Used: Wright, Van der Meyde, Pistone.

    Booked: Yobo.

    Goals: Arteta 65 pen, 90.

    Att: 18,149

    Ref: H Webb (S Yorkshire).



    SEE ALSO
    Johnson given ankle injury boost
    21 Jan 07 |  Everton
    Sunday's football photos
    21 Jan 07 |  Football


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